It’s summertime, which means tomatoes!
Maybe you have a garden bursting to the brim with fresh tomatoes or maybe you’re more like me, with a black thumb and dead tomato plants, but an abundance of summer tomatoes thanks to the farmers market.
No matter how you end up with a bountiful tomato harvest, never fear! You can use up all those tomatoes, and I promise you won’t even get sick of them by the time you’re done.
There are so many wonderful ways to use tomatoes it’s almost overwhelming, but in the best way possible. From canning to making sauces and soup to simply eating tomatoes right this very second, this list of things to do with these delicious red fruits will keep all of us busy for the rest of the summer.
Eat Some of the Tomatoes NOW!
This may seem obvious, but when the tomatoes start rolling in, it's the absolute best time to enjoy them. That rich, fresh tomato flavor can only be had when tomatoes are at their peak and are grown close to home. It's easy to weave tomatoes into meals throughout the day, whether tossed in a morning egg scramble, topping a salad for lunch, or on pizza for dinner. There are countless recipes that use fresh tomatoes, but here are three to get the tomato party started.
Tomato and basil is one of my favorite flavor combinations, which is why I love margherita pizza so much. The trick to perfect margherita pizza is adding the basil just AFTER the pizza comes out of the oven. Get the recipe from This Week for Dinner.
Wilted Kale and Tomato Salad
Tomato and Goat Cheese Quiche
Try Canning Tomatoes
Canning is probably the most obvious way to use a tomato harvest. Having a stash of canned tomatoes in the pantry is a must, and if they're canned in your own kitchen, even better! Canning tomatoes isn't especially hard to do but it may take a little time, so give yourself a long afternoon to get the task done.Cooking on the Front Burners
offers a fabulous tutorial for canning whole tomatoes. Click here for the instructions. Brooklyn Supper
shares a great recipe for canned crushed tomatoes, which you can get right here on Babble!
Make Slow Roasted Tomotoes
While they won't keep as long as canned tomatoes, slow roasting is an oh-so-delicious way to preserve your tomatoes for a little bit of time to enjoy later. It’s basically like making homemade sun-dried tomatoes, only the oven takes care of the drying.
Slow roasting tomatoes is simple. First, chop one or two cloves of fresh garlic and throw them into about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of olive oil. Set aside to let the garlic infuse the oil. Slice about a dozen medium-sized tomatoes and spread evenly on a large cookie sheet – Roma tomatoes work especially well.
Brush the tomatoes with the garlic-infused olive oil, making sure the garlic pieces make their way onto the tomatoes. Sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper, a bit of sugar, and your favorite spices like oregano, basil, and parsley. Bake in a 200º F oven for two to six hours (when I make them, the cook time is closer to six hours). You want the tomatoes to shrink significantly in size and get chewy but still have some moisture.
Drizzle in olive oil and store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Like sun-dried tomatoes, they will store in your fridge in olive oil for quite some time.
Make Tomato Sauce
Homemade sauce is a must when you have an abundance of tomatoes — it can be so much yummier than the store-bought versions and is simple to throw together. Eat the sauce now or save it for later, either by freezing or canning. Here are a few sauce recipes to get you started!Fresh Tomato & Basil Sauce
: This sauce is simple but delicious, and it includes instructions for canning so you can save some for the rest of the year — that is if you don’t eat it all, first! Get the recipe here on Babble!Easy, No-Cook Pizza Sauce
: Homemade pizza sauce does not get any easier than this, and this is seriously the best tasting pizza sauce I’ve ever had. One batch is enough for at least two pizza nights – I always freeze the second half of the sauce for another night. Get the recipe on This Week for Dinner!
Roasted Vegetarian Puttanesca
Use Green Tomatoes
If you anticipate an especially large tomato harvest, pick some of the tomatoes when they are still green to take the pressure off. There are a lot of wonderful recipes out there using green tomatoes.
you have to try cooking fried green tomatoes! Get the recipe here on Babble!
Green Tomato Chutney
This sweet and tangy chutney goes with just about anything. It’s so good you might find yourself just eating it with a spoon! Get the recipe here on Babble!
Whip Up a Batch of Tomato Jam
Tomato jam is one of my new favorites. I can’t get enough and it’s perfect with so many dishes, from topping a hamburger to being served with a cheese and charcuterie platter.
This is tomato jam at its simplest, and that simplicity is downright addictive. Up the amount of sugar and you can also can this tomato jam. Get the recipe on This Week for Dinner!
Homemade Tomato Ketchup
Ketchup is essentially the original tomato jam. Homemade ketchup is not only delicious, but you can tailor the spices to your taste. Get the recipe here on Babble!
Make Your Own Tomato Soup
Soup is another great way to use extra tomatoes, especially since many soup recipes can also be canned or frozen. Here are a few yummy soup recipes that are pretty much irresistible.Tuscan Tomato Soup:
This is hands-down my favorite tomato soup recipe ever. Get the recipe from This Week for Dinner!
(Note: this soup contains cream so I would not
recommend canning it. Just cook and eat it fresh!
Thai Tomato Soup
This recipe gives tomato soup a Thai makeover that's light and comforting. Best of all, it only takes 10 minutes to throw together! Get the recipe right here on Babble!
(Instead of using a large can of fire-roasted tomatoes, use about a dozen peeled, fresh, whole tomatoes and sprinkle the soup with a bit of cayenne pepper for some instant fire.)
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What’s your go-to tomato recipe? Any favorites to add to this list?
Read more from Jane at This Week for Dinner, Kitchen Tunage and The Spoiler Alert. For more updates, follow Jane on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!